What causes excessive facial sweating?

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Excessive facial sweating is a medical condition also known as facial hyperhidrosis. It involves excessive sweating on the face, including above the lips, forehead, neck, scalp and nose.

In many cases, this excessive sweating entails incessant dripping from the face and typically occurs even without a person engaging in heavy physical activity. There are several causes of excessive facial sweating.

Central Nervous System

Various factors relating to the central nervous system can bring on excessive facial sweating. Nerve and spinal cord issues can result in normal sweating and can lead to some localised or primary sweating around certain body parts occasionally, particularly the armpits, face, feet and hands.

Mental State

An individual's mental state can also trigger excessive facial sweating, particularly if she is feeling nervous or anxious. This is especially common in teenagers. The brain is directly responsible for sweating and can cause the face to become red or sweaty. A person has no control over this situation.


Emotions such as depression, extreme happiness and joy can also trigger excessive facial sweating. The hypothalamus manages these emotions (as well as hunger and thirst), as well as the function of sweat glands and the nerves that control their supply.

Other Causes

There are also some medical conditions that can lead to excessive facial sweating, and they are unrelated to the most common causes of the condition (such as emotions and mental state). They include diabetes, obesity, hyperthyroidism and uncommon adrenal gland tumours known as pheochromocytoma.


One of the most common treatment options for excessive facial sweating is a medication known as Ditropan. This medicine comes in pill form and is an anticholinergic that operates by essentially drying out an individual's entire system. The medication is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is generally taken once or twice a day. It is also commonly used to treat urinary incontinence for individuals with bladder control problems.